This 11-day Aspen to Taos Bike Tour focuses on the vertical landscapes and mountain town culture of the southern Colorado Rockies. This is a mountain tour that crosses the continental divide on four occasions, meanders along verdant river valleys and seeks out the eclectic lodging, food and the natural hot springs that this region is well known for.
Scott CR-1 Pro and Scott Solace Carbon road bikes with full Shimano Ultegra components for only $250/ WEEK.
Scott E-bikes are road bikes with straight bars. Rental Price is $375/ WEEK.
Day 0: Arrive in Denver
Guests arrive in Denver by driving or by flying to the Denver International Airport (DEN) and the Courtyard Marriott Denver Airport meeting hotel.
Day 1: Maroon Bells Loop
25 Miles with up to 2,200 feet of climbing
After a morning transfer from Denver into the heart of the Colorado Rockies, the riding starts on a relaxing closed road that climbs gently to the picturesque Maroon Bells, which are the most photographed mountains in Colorado. The road to the “Bells” will have plenty of cyclists to smile and wave to. After the descent, tonight’s lodging is at the Limelight Hotel in the heart of Aspen.
Day 2: Layover Day in Aspen
On Day 2 options abound. Cyclists can go on a ride of up to 35-miles in the Snowmass area or they can climb the lower slopes of Independence Pass. Guests should make time to explore Aspen’s shops, spas, nightlife and food culture.
Day 3: Aspen to Crested Butte
40-100 Miles with up to 5,800 feet of climbing
Today’s ride to Crested Butte, Colorado via two 12,000-foot passes, Independence and Cottonwood Passes, is a Colorado classic and has served as the Queen Stage of the USA Pro Challenge bike race. The climb of Independence Pass will take 2 to 3 hours and delivers cyclists to a spectacular above treeline landscape. After a long descent to the Arkansas River Valley the climbing begins again up and over remote Cottonwood Pass. Eventually cyclists arrive in the summer paradise of Crested Butte, which is the wildflower capital of Colorado. We’ll settle into Crested Butte for a two night’s stay in the Elk Mountain Lodge.
Day 4: Layover in Crested Butte
A layover day in the wildflower capital of Colorado, Crested Butte! Make this a day for fly-fishing, mountain climbing, a spa day, mountain biking on the 401 Trail, white water rafting or a swim in a mountain lake.
Day 5: The Cannibal Classic
70-130 Miles with up to 8,500 feet of climbing
Crested Butte to Creede (8,500′) is a local’s favorite known as the Cannibal Classic and is a tremendous test of endurance for Crested Butte’s hard body locals.
NOTE: One DOES NOT HAVE TO RIDE this entire stage!
The Cannibal Classic earned its name from the infamous Alfred Packer, a miner who became snowbound on an ill-fated journey into the San Juan Mountains in the late 1800’s. Come spring, Packer was the only remaining miner alive from his party of six, looking pretty healthy. He had literally eaten his compatriots!
The rides starts in Crested Butte, Colorado’s (9,000-feet) majestic Elk Mountains and starts with a gradual 40-mile descent, after which riders are tested by a 45-mile section with multiple ups and downs that could drain the strength from their legs.
At approximately mile 85, take on one of the steepest paved mountain passes in Colorado, Slumgullion Pass at an elevation of 11,530 feet. This monster is a 7-mile climb that ascends nearly 3,000 feet; its average 7% to 9% grades feels particularly brutal coming at mile 90 of the Cannibal Classic. At the top, you’ll descend 4 miles and then climb another 4 miles at a mere 4% grade to Spring Creek Pass and the Continental Divide. From Spring Creek, it’s just about a 30-mile descent to lodging at Antlers Rio Grande Lodge which sits on the banks of the Rio Grande near Creede.
Day 6: Wolf Creek Pass to Pagosa Springs
64 Miles with up to 3,400 feet of climbing
From our lodging at Antlers Rio Grande Lodge we ride south over Wolf Creek Pass. At this pont cyclists are pedaling across the remote headwaters of Rio Grande watershed. The largest wilderness area in Colorado, the Weimuniche Wilderness, borders this lush region. After climbing the impressive Wolf Creek Pass (10,863′), cyclists will have climbed over the Continental Divide for the second time in two days.
Next thrill to a 4,000? descent from Wolf Creek to Pagosa Springs, Colorado along the headwaters of the San Juan River. We’ll be in close proximity to New Mexico and get a whiff of the state’s famous and fragrant green chile. Tonight we’ll enjoy a much-needed and deserved soak in towns hot springs at the renowned Springs Resort & Spa.
Day 7: Chama to Ojo Caliente
50 to 93 Miles with up to 4,900 feet of climbing
Day 7’s ride serves up yet another beautiful ride over the mountainous continental divide into the state of New Mexico to the exclusive Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa. Steeped in myth and legend, these ancient springs have been a gathering place and source of healing for thousands of years. The use of the waters can be traced back to the earliest human migrations in the region. Ancient peoples, the ancestors of today’s Native American Tewa tribes, built large pueblos and terraced gardens overlooking the springs. Surrounding the springs are the ruins of the cities populated before the birth of history.
Day 8: Ojo Caliente to Taos
41 Miles with up to 2,000 feet of climbing
After a relaxed morning at Ojo we’ll ride from the Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs to Taos and stay at the El Monte Sagrado. Along the way we’ll cross the spectacular Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. Tonight dine at El Monte Sagrado’s award-winning De la Tierra Restaurant. Taos is an artist’s destination of international acclaim and home to the Taos Pueblo Indians.
Day 9: Layover Day in Taos.
Spend the day exploring Taos’ art district, visit Taos Pueblo (the oldest inhabited building in North America), taste the state’s famous of green chile or simply do nothing. This is your day!
Day 10: The Enchanted Circle
85 Miles with up to 5,800 feet of climbing
Ride a loop along the fabulous Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway back to the El Monte Segrado. This ride circles the Sangre De Cristo Mountains offering cyclists big mountains views that showcase the topography of northern New Mexico.
We also will have the option for a ride and hike within Río Grande Del Norte National Monument.
Day 11: “Pike’s Peak or Bust!”
18 Miles or 10 Miles climb to the top
On the tour’s final day we offers what is consider perhaps the most arduous climb in North America, Pike’s Peak. “Pike’s Peak or Bust” was a common refrain from gold seekers heading west in the 1800’s. This may be your refrain as you attempt to climb 7,000-feet in 162 turns over 18-miles to 14,110-feet. There are 10-miles of this climb with a 10% grade that are above 10,000-feet in elevation. But these are only numbers.
This is a big climb; there will be suffering, doubt & elation. Cyclists can take a bump to the visitor center to attempt a 10-mile climb or start from the bottom for an 18-mile climb to the summit. NOTE: Our vehicle is available for a bump to shorten this day. Cyclists do not have to ride the entire climb, but the views from the top are worth the effort! After Pike’s Peak stay a final night at The Cliff House.
Day 12: Post Tour Logistics
In the morning we’ll transfer back to Denver International Airport hotel to end the tour.
Map & Routes
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